Celebrating Albert Einstein

Perhaps the most well known scientists of modern times, Einstein brought a revolution in physics with his achievements in the field. 67 years after his death, his work still has a lasting impact. See the full slideshow at LIFE.com.

Einstein

With more than 300 scientific papers published, Einstein's great intelligence and originality have made his name synonymous with genius. He is famous for his work in the special theory of relativity as well as his contributions to the building of the first atomic bomb. 

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Ferdinand Schmutzer

Einstein Sweatshirt

Relaxing in a Sweatshirt

Einstein's breakthroughs in physics fundamentally changed the way we see the world and time itself, and ushered in the atomic age; one of the most recognizable faces of the 20th century; exile from Germany began in 1933 with the rise of Nazism; moved to U.S., where he began a lifelong residency as a professor and a beloved local character in Princeton, New Jersey.

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Young Einstein

Young Einstein -- A Halting Start

Einstein, seen circa 1882 in his earliest known photograph at age three, was hardly a one-dimensional thinking machine. In fact, his was a life filled with idiosyncracies, riddles, contradictions, and plain old goofy trivia. For example: As a child, Einstein did not begin talking until he was fully 3 years old -- a fact so contrary to the conventional wisdom about smart kids and language skills that the writer Thomas Sowell titled a book on the topic "The Einstein Syndrome: Bright Children Who Talk Late."

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Einstein Work and Play

Work and Play

Einstein (seen here in California in 1932) was not big on games of any sort -- cards, board games, word games -- that required mental exertion. "I do not play games," he once told the New York Times. "There is not time for it. When I get through with work, I don't want anything that requires the working of the mind."

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Einstein Put That in Your Pipe

Put That in Your Pipe

Einstein loved smoking a pipe, and evidently gave a good deal of thought to why it so appealed to him. "I believe that pipe smoking contributes to a somewhat calm and objective judgment in all human affairs," he said in 1950 when, at the age of 71, he became a lifetime member of the Montreal Pipe Smokers Club.

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Einstein Bottle of Scotch

A Bottle of Scotch Makes All the Difference

Life photographer Ralph Morse  recalls the day Einstein passed away -- and the case of scotch he bought on the way to his office. "I knew people might be reluctant to talk to me, and I knew that most people were happy to accept a bottle of scotch instead of money if you offered it in exchange for their help. So, I get to the building and nobody's there. I find the superintendent, give him a fifth of scotch, and he opens up Einstein's office so I can take some photos." Seen here, a never-published photo of Einstein's papers, pipe, ashtray, chalk, and other personal belongings in his Princeton office on the morning of April 18, 1955.

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The Man With Einstein's Brain

Postscript: The Man With Einstein's Brain

Dr. Thomas Harvey conducted the autopsy on Einstein at Princeton Hospital in 1955 -- he controversially removed the brain during the autopsy, carefully sliced into sections, and then kept for years for research purposes. Morse says he's certain that that is not Einstein's brain under Dr. Harvey's knife in this never-before-seen picture. Then, after a pause, Morse qualifies that certainty: "You know, it was fifty-five years ago. Honestly, I don't remember every single detail of the day. So whatever he's cutting there ..." Morse's words hang in the air. Then, mischievously, he laughs.

See more exclusive photos of the day Einstein died at Life.com.

Ralph Morse/LIFE.com

Celebrating Albert Einstein

Perhaps the most well known scientists of modern times, Einstein brought a revolution in physics with his achievements in the field. 67 years after his death, his work still has a lasting impact. See the full slideshow at LIFE.com.

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